Free Public Forum at TNCC Examines Faith and Science

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Thomas Nelson Community College’s (TNCC) Division of Communications, Humanities, and Social Sciences will present a free public forum on TNCC’s Hampton campus titled, “Convergence: A Faith and Science Dialog Between a Muslim Aerospace Engineer and an Ordained Christian Physicist.” The panel discussion takes place Tuesday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Espada Conference Center located in Moore Hall.

Dr. Ahmed Noor of Old Dominion University (ODU) and the Tidewater Islamic Center and Reverend George Murphy, a Lutheran minister and member of the Society of Ordained Scientists, will serve as guest panelists. The forum will “bring together speakers with both disparate and similar backgrounds to discuss issues in science, faith and popular culture,” said Dr. Charles Smith, who teaches Biology and Religious Studies at TNCC. After each speaker’s presentation, the speakers will take questions and comments from the audience.

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TNCC Faculty Colloquium to Explore Sci-fi Nov. 4

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Science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts throughout Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) and the surrounding community are invited to a Faculty Colloquium titled “Old Ideas for New Worlds: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Archetype.” Free and open to the public, the presentation takes place Thursday, November 4 at 3 p.m. in the Espada Room, Moore Hall on the Hampton campus.

Four aficionados of both science fiction and fantasy from the TNCC English faculty will discuss some of these works, their use of storytelling and archetype. Discussions will also explore a few of the most common central themes in science fiction and fantasy genres. The Colloquium panel includes Jacqueline Blackwell, Alex Chirila, Lisa Ray and Michael Weiser.

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TNCC Faculty Colloquium to Feature Retired NASA Researcher

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Thomas Nelson Community College’s (TNCC) Department of Communications, Humanities and Social Sciences presents a faculty colloquium Tuesday, October 5 featuring retired NASA Researcher Ed Prior. Entitled “Scientific Investigation of the Shroud of Turin,” the one-hour presentation will begin at 2 p.m. in the Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium in Templin Hall on the Hampton campus and is free and open to the public.

The Shroud of Turin is an ancient linen cloth believed to reflect the image of the crucified Jesus Christ. Many who have studied and seen the shroud say the image is a miracle. Others insist it is a medieval painting fraud. NASA personnel made several personal contributions to studies of the cloth in 1978 and to its carbon dating in 1988. Prior was among millions of people who saw the famous cloth on display in Turin earlier this year.

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TNCC Students Explore Shenandoah National Park During Virginia’s Geological Field Conference

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HAMPTON, Va. — Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) Geology students supplemented their in-class lessons with a hands-on look at geology during the Virginia Geological Field Conference October 2 – 3 at Shenandoah National Park. The conference is held in a different region of Virginia each year and gives students a first-hand look at the geology the Commonwealth has to offer. TNCC students first attended the conference in 2007 when it was held in Williamsburg. Last year, the conference was held in Marion, Va.

Geology Instructor and Department Head Peter Berquist accompanies the students each year and says it’s an invaluable experience. “Students who have participated in these trips in the past always refer back to these field trips throughout the semester, recalling when they saw a certain rock or fossil or discussing an important geologic process or event. These experiences clearly stick with the students and provide them with their own frame of reference to which they can incorporate course content,” Berquist said.

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TNCC Hosts National Chemistry Day Presentation

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In observance of National Chemistry Day, the College will host a presentation titled “The Chemistry of Particulate Air Pollution and Implications to Human Health” on Monday, October 26 in the Espada Room, Moore Hall on the Hampton campus. Free and open to the public, the 9:30 a.m. event will feature Dr. Paula A. Mazzer of Old Dominion University (ODU) as guest speaker.

An assistant professor in ODU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mazzer will discuss a current project in which her laboratory team is investigating the health effects of complex environmental mixtures. The project examines the potential health effects of airborne particulate matter primarily the organic fraction using a molecular pathology approach. The National Academy of Sciences indicates that determining the underlying toxicological mechanisms by which air pollutant particles induce adverse health effects is a key scientific priority, according to Mazzer.

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TNCC Student Conducts Scientific Research in Central America

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Michael Cagle’s learning extends far beyond textbooks. The Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) Biology student recently completed his own research project. The investigation, “Tropical Leaf-Cutter Ants: Is Antimicrobial Activity Exhibited during the Harvesting and Transfer of Leaves?” examines the use of chemicals secreted by the leaf-cutter ants to kill bacteria inside and outside of the nest.

Cagle started the investigation earlier this year when he and 10 other TNCC students traded a relaxing spring break for intensive field research in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The trip, which was February 25 – March 8, was part of BIO 295: Topics in Biology: Tropical Ecosystem Ecology. Jennifer Martin, Assistant Professor of Biology, organized the trip for her students and was accompanied by Dr. Donald K. Bartholomay, Dean of Science and Allied Health. The itinerary included studies of rainforest, mangrove forest, marine and freshwater ecology. “Ecosystem diversity was the theme for this course,” Martin said.

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